We spent a couple more days in Phnom Penh visiting various sites. We spent one afternoon walking aimlessly around the Russian Market, where I somehow got sucked into buying a pillow case and dragonfly jewellery holfder. That same day we also went to visit the Royal Palace but turns out it's only open for a couple of hours each morning and afternoon and so we would only have about half an hour to walk around it. As we were planning to leave the next day at around lunchctime we decided to get up early and visit it in the morning - meaning it would also be a bit cooler as we wouldn't be walking around in the midday sun. The Royal Palace complex consists of several buildings including the 'Silver Pagoda' and are open to the public to view. They were built over a century ago to serve as the residence of the King of Cambodia, his family and foreign dignitaries.
We headed back to pack at around 12 as we needed to catch the 1 o'clock bus to take us to Sihanoukville, a town on the southern coast of Cambodia which has islands nearby. The bus journey was pretty long and we arrived at around 8pm (note - bus journies in Asia take at least 4 times longer than you are told they would!!). We hadn't booked anywhere to stay and so proceeded to walk around checking out hostels asking if they had rooms/dorms. The area is pretty much just full of backpackers and bars, so most of the hostels were full and we ended up in a place called Eutopia. Turs out that this is THE main club in Sihanoukville and we were staying in a dorm that was literally plastic matresses all shoved next to each other (30 in one room!). There was also a power cut that night so none of the fans were workiut and we were told that the air con didn't turn on until 1am as everyone was out drinking until then so they didn't see the point in having it on. Brilllllliant. We went out for a few drinks but we were SO tired that we ended up heading back to the hostel/CLUB at 11 (where we walked straight into a toga party) but luckily I was so exhausted that I just shoved some ear plugs in and passed out within minutes.
Next morning we woke at about 7am and HAD to leave Eutopia - even though I slept like a rock Becca kept waking up cos of the music. We wandered around the main road in Sihanoukville for a little while and found a few places that were selling boat tickets which went to the islands nearby. We decided that we wanted to go to Koh Rong, the biggest and farthest island from the mainland (2 hours) as less people fancy going out that far and so it is less disturbed and has the nicest beaches. After wandering around for a while we found a dive shop that was doing return tickets for £10 (everywhere else was £20) but we had missed the boat for that day so booked for the following morning. There was NO way we wanted to stay another night in Sihanoukville so after asking around we headed to Otres Beach - apparently the least touristy beach in the area which had bungalows on the beach which you could rent for the night. The beach was SO nice, I think just the fact that it was the first proper proper beach I had been to on my trip so far made it even better, but we managed to get a nice hut right on the sea front. As soon as we got there we dumped our stuff and got into bikinis and went for a wander - making the stupid mistake of not putting sun cream on yet. We were probably gone for about 20 minutes before we came back and then I decided I wanted to swim out to a jetty that was floating in the sea. When i'd been out and come back in I realised was a BIG mistake we'd made - we were already bright red and starting to burn up. Becca wasn't as bad as she'd but factor 50 on (!) as soon as we'd got back from exploring, whereas i'd swam out and sat on the jetty talking to some Italian guy with an unpronouncable name for another 20 minutes before heading in to cover up. I was RED. We spent the rest of the day pretty much fully dressed and sat in the shade, complaining what idiots we were.
The whole day at Otres beach there were woman walking up and down offering massages and threading, but one woman came up to me and just said 'OHHH NO', pointing at my skin and then tried to convince me to pay her to get aloe vera and ice to put on my burn. I declined but then got the idea of going and finding an aloe vera plant myself and just whacked it on for free! That night Becca and I had a couple of coctails watching the sunset (we sound like a couple) and then headed to bed as she was knackered from no sleep in Eutopia and we had to get a tuktuk back to Sihanoukville at 6 am so we could catch the dive boat to Koh Rong.